Introduction: How to Tune a Snowboard
Throughout the snowboarding season there are many reasons why you should periodically "tune up" your snowboard. You may ride over rocks or other obstacles that can leave scratches on the bottom of your board that will hinder it's performance. If your board feels like it is riding slower down the slopes and doesn't react like it normally did, then chances are you should take it in to get repaired. There are many ways to tune up a snowboard, from the typical hot waxing, tuning edges, and even repairing chips if you've really done some damage. This instruct-able is going to show you how to tune your edges, hot wax, and finish to get you back on track and riding how your board is suppose to feel. In this tutorial the tools that were used are; Dakine deluxe hot wax kit (can be purchased from most popular board shops), Phillips screw driver (for removing the bindings), and Goo Gone (for removing any old wax).
Step 1: Preperation
Remove the bindings from the board. First, go over to your workbench of other large flat surface and set your board on it bindings up. Next, using a larger sized Phillips-head screw driver, turn all 3-4 of the screws (different models use more/less screws then others.) at the base of each of the bindings counter-clockwise. Pull upward on the bindings to separate them from the board. Note: some may not come off easily due to dirt buildup between the board and binding.
Step 2: Removing Old Wax
Now that the bindings are separated, go over to your Dakine deluxe kit and take out the larger of the two plastic scrapers. Spray a light amount of wax remover on the bottom of the board and put the scrapper parallel to the board, then tilt it a 45* angle towards yourself and pull it towards yourself while applying pressure to the scrapper edge so it knocks the larger pieces of wax off or smashes them flat, leaving the board somewhat smoother. Always scrape from nose to tail or tail to nose, never horizontally.
Step 3: Filing Edges
This step is to sharpen your edges. This requires the file that is included in the tool kit. First sharpen the sides of your edges with the edge tool included. Move again from the nose to tail of the board and not back and forth. Next at a 45* angle press the file against the edge of the board and file away from you with the flat file. Only file in one direction, not up and down. The sharpness of your board depends on the style that you choose to ride. A freestyle rider will want a rounder edge to help prevent from catching on boxes and rails.
Step 4: Final Clean Before Wax
With a small amount of wax and grease remover clean the bottom again with a low lint paper towel or cloth to remove all debris from filing the edges. If debris is left on the board it will hinder the waxing process.
Step 5: Heat Up the Waxing Iron
Take out your iron from the Dakine kit, plug it in an outlet then turn it on. The iron should be JUST hot enough so that it melts the wax, but does not cause it to smoke.
Step 6: Applying Wax to Board
Remove the puck of wax and using the iron, start to melt the wax onto the board like. Spread it over the entire base. Start with the perimeter and then in a zigzag motion move back and forth over the base. After a good amount of wax is spread over your board, lightly press the iron on the board and even out the wax. Only going back to front or front to back. You don't want to much otherwise you will spend a lot of time scraping later on, just enough to be able to spread across the board.
(Only for deep gouges in wax) Take out your wax stick, light the tip of it on fire with a lighter or match away from the board and wait for the carbon to burn off. With the stick then 6-7 inches above the board aim it into the gouges on the board so they fill, and only use enough to make it flat. If too much is used, you get to spend a lot more time scrapping the excess. When it hardens take the scraper and do exactly what was done in step 2 so that the freshly melted wax evenly distributes.
Step 7: Cooling
Let the wax cool for 30 minutes or until the wax reaches room temperature. This will let the pores completely absorb the wax and will give you better results. Allowing the wax to harden also makes it easier to scrape.
Step 8: Scraping Excess Wax
After the wax is dry use the plastic scraper and remove the excess wax just like step 2. Scrape the board until all of the wax is removed. It is important to keep consistent long strokes while you scrape. Short strokes tend to make scraping uneven and less smooth. Long even strokes provide less room for error. This will make the wax more even and faster on the snow.
Step 9: Bottom Finishing
Using the brush that is included in the kit, rub the bottom part of the board. This will remove the remaining wax that the scraper missed and will also help push the wax into the pores. This also allows for a shiny finish.
Step 10: Repairing the Top (if Needed)
Now that the bottom is re-waxed it’s nice to make the rest of the board look like new. A sharpie can color in any nicks on the top of the board. There should be a color that matches your board; you will just have to go find one. As for more serious damages like gouges in the top of the board; I use gorilla epoxy and clamps. As long as the material is still attached to the board, this process can be done. The epoxy is separate at first. You should only mix as much as you will need. Mixing excess is just a waste of materials. Apply the epoxy to the damaged area, and use a couple blocks of wood that fit the space accordingly. Place a block on each side of the board, so that the clamps do not scratch the board and evenly distribute the pressure on the damaged area. Apply the clamps and allow the epoxy to dry for 24 hours.
Reattach the bindings opposite from step one. Be sure that the binding are aligned the way you want them prior to tightening the screws. Make sure to tighten the screw enough so that they do not come loose. Screws that are tightened too much are difficult to remove in the future, and they could become stripped in the process.